The FLORIDA AQUARIUM (above) was voted the No. 2 best aquarium in North America on USA Today’s 10Best list. A panel of experts chose the continent’s 20 best aquariums, and the final 10 were selected by readers. Tampa’s aquarium came in behind only Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
FRENCHIES MODERN NAIL CARE SALON is now open under the Pearl apartment building in Tampa Heights. The salon, whose mission statement is “We Love Clean,” offers manicures and pedicures for men, women and children that exceed industry regulations and are toxin-free. Salon owner Tracy Taylor says that their goal is to serve consumers who “seek [a] healthy, all-natural approach to nail care.”
Formerly on North Franklin Street downtown, FLY BAR will relocate to the Mise en Place building on Kennedy Boulevard this fall. The reimagined Fly plans to feature an outdoor patio — though it will no longer have its signature rooftop bar — and a mix of old and new menu items. Current plans call for an opening sometime in November.
ALTIS GRAND CENTRAL is pre-leasing its studio, one, two and three-bedroom apartment homes ahead of an anticipated opening this fall. Community amenities include a saltwater pool, a sky lounge overlooking Downtown Tampa, an automated 24/7 package pickup station with refrigerated lockers for food delivery, a bowling alley, and an indoor pet spa.
The downtown DOMINO’S PIZZA location is relocating from its current space on the corner of Tyler and Tampa streets to the first floor of Nine15 on Franklin Street. The Tyler Street site is set for demolition and will become a surface parking lot for future surrounding developments.
Two neighboring restaurants are now open in Seminole Heights. Hot chicken spot KING OF THE COOP features spicy chicken tenders and leg quarters, as well as chicken sandwiches with sides of macaroni and cheese and collard greens. FLORIDA EATS specializes in customizable fresh, healthy bowls with vegetarian and vegan options. Locally produced kombucha is also served, courtesy of Kombucha Tampa.
The new restaurant FORBICI MODERN ITALIAN recently opened in Hyde Park Village. Created by Ciccio Restaurant Group’s Jeff Gigante and Brunetti Pizza owner Jason Brunetti, Forbici serves Roman-style pizza and Italian tapas, among other entrees in a sit-down style restaurant. Forbici also will house a bar with craft brews, cocktails and wine.
GLAZER CHILDREN’S MUSEUM is bringing back its popular Grown-Up Night on July 12. Big kids 21 and up can play like a child again, exploring the museum’s exhibits with free snacks and beer from Florida Avenue Brewing Co., plus a cash bar. Tickets are available for purchase online or at the door.
Tickets are on sale now for the annual TAMPA BAY COMIC CONVENTION, happening August 2-4 at the Tampa Convention Center. Guests can get an autograph or photo with actor Ron Perlman, Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley from the Harry Potter series), Creed Bratton from The Office and other TV and film stars.
Tampa-based hotel & property management service MAINSAIL LODGING & DEVELOPMENT recently won five “Certificates of Excellence” awards from TripAdvisor. The awards went to five of the company’s properties, including Tampa’s Epicurean Hotel and Dunedin’s Fenway Hotel. The Epicurean, a five-time award winner, is now a member of the TripAdvisor Hall of Fame.
A California coffee shop and juice bar will be coming to the Westshore Marina District in early 2020. DRNK coffee and tea/QWENCH juice bar will serve coffee, tea, juices and acai bowls. They will also have breakfast and lunch items.
The TAMPA-ST. PETERSBURG-CLEARWATER metro area was ranked as the second-most popular destination for retirees in the country, according to a study by MagnifyMoney. Twelve of the top 25 most popular spots to retire are in Florida. Florida’s low property and sales tax likely contribute to this trend.
The health-focused grocery store FRESH MARKET has partnered with Instacart and now offers guests in the Tampa Bay area same-day delivery. Customers can use Instacart’s app or website to schedule a delivery in as little as one hour or up to a week ahead of time. Instacart is already working with Publix, Sprouts and Costco in Tampa.
Tampa’s own OXFORD EXCHANGE and ULELE (top of page) made an appearance on OpenTable’s list of the 100 Best Restaurants in America for a Big Night Out. The reservation platform used over 12 million customer reviews to consider 30,000 U.S. restaurants based on their food and drink options, ambiance and bar scenes.
TAMPA GENERAL HOSPITAL is expected to lease space inside the University of South Florida’s new Morsani College of Medicine and Heart Institute building downtown. Part of the space will be used to treat patients, including an imaging center and an urgent care clinic on the building’s first floor.